Research Working Group

The breadth of Bsal research needs span basic, applied, and theoretical science disciplines; advances in all these arenas are needed to build foundational knowledge essential for responding to Bsal emergence. To achieve a broad scope of work, the Bsal Research Working Group is a collaboration of scientists with diverse expertise with amphibian and other wildlife pathogens, ecological modeling, immunology, microbial ecology, disease ecology, pathology, human dimensions and much more. The group strives to create an inclusive, collaborative atmosphere, to maintain or expand its participants; it is currently composed of >30 members, representing >20 organizations.

The goal of the Research Working Group is to:

  • facilitate communication and collaboration among scientists studying Bsal in North America and,
  • ensure high-quality, management-relevant research on Bsal is produced rapidly.


Current Group Leads: Douglas WoodhamsMolly Bletz

Doug Woodhams, University  of Massachusetts Boston, (Lab Website)

Molly Bletz, University of Massachusetts Boston  (Website)

Alexis Korotasz, University of Notre Dame (ResearchGate|Lab Website)

Matthew Gray, University of Tennessee (Lab Website)  

Louise Rollins-Smith, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (Lab Website)

Alexa Warwick, Michigan State University  (Lab Website

Jonah Piovia-Scott, Washington State University Vancouver (Lab Website)

Lillian Fritz-Laylin, University of Massachusetts Amherst (Lab Website)

Photo Credit: Todd Amacker

eft-stage eastern newt in Massachusetts forest. Photo taken by Molly Bletz.

Working Group Products:

Tompros, A., Dean, A. D., Fenton, A., Wilber, M. Q., Carter, E. D., & Gray, M. J. (2021). Frequency‐dependent transmission of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans in eastern newtsTransboundary and Emerging Diseases.

Carter ED, Bletz MC, Le Sage M, LaBumbard B, Rollins-Smith LA, Woodhams DC, Miller DL, Gray MJ. 2021. Winter is coming–Temperature affects immune defenses and susceptibility to Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans. PLoS Pathogens 17(2): e1009234.

Islam R. M., Gray M. J., Peace A. 2021. Identifying the dominant transmission pathway in a multi-stage infection model of the emerging fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans on the eastern newt. Pages 193-216 in M. I. Teboh-Ewungkem, G. A. Ngwa (eds.), Infectious Diseases and Our Planet, Mathematics of Planet Earth 7, New York: Springer.

Wilber MQ, Carter ED, Gray MJ, Briggs CJ. 2021. Putative resistance and tolerance mechanisms have little impact on disease progression for an emerging salamander pathogen. Functional Ecology.

Cusaac, J. P. W, E. D. Carter, D. C. Woodhams, J. Robert, J. A. Spatz, J. L. Howard, C. Lillard, A. W. Graham, R. D. Hill, S. Reinsch, D. McGinnity, B. Reeves, D. Bemis, R. P. Wilkes, W. B. Sutton, T. B. Waltzek, R. H. Hardman, D. L. Miller, and M. J. Gray. 2021. Emerging Pathogens and a Current-Use Pesticide: Potential Impacts on Eastern Hellbenders. Journal of Aquatic Animal Health. DOI: 10.1002/aah.10117.


Brunner, J. L. 2020. Pooled samples and eDNA-based detection can facilitate the “clean trade” of aquatic animals. Scientific Reports 10:10280.

Kumar, R., D. A. Malagon, E. D. Carter, M. L. Bohanon, J. P. W. Cusaac, A. C. Peterson, D. L. Miller and M. J. Gray. 2020. Experimental methodologies can affect pathogenicity of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans infections. PLoS ONE. 

Robinson, K. A., K. E. Pereira, M. C. Bletz, E. D. Carter, M. J. Gray, J. Piovia-Scott, J. M. Romansic, D. C. Woodhams, and L. Fritz-Laylin. 2020. Isolation and maintenance of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans cultures. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms. 

Islam, R. M., M. J. Gray, and A. Peace. 2020 (in press). Identifying the dominant transmission pathway in a multi-stage infection model of the emerging fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans on the eastern newt. Mathematics of Planet Earth (Infectious Diseases of Our Planet), Springer, New York.

Pereira, K. E., M. J. Gray, J. L. Kerby, E. H. Campbell Grant, and J. Voyles. 2020. The next threat: how do we stop fungal disease from devastating North American salamanders? Wildlife Professional 14:41-46.

Rollins-Smith, L.A. 2020. Global amphibian declines, disease, and the ongoing battle between Batrachochytrium fungi and the immune system. Herpetologica. 76: 178–188


Malagon, D. A., L. A. Melara, O. F. Proper, S. Lenhart, E. D. Carter, J. A. Fordyce, A. C. Peterson, D. L. Miller, and M. J. Gray. 2020. Host density and habitat structure influence host contact rates and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans transmission. Scientific Reports 10, 5584. 



Carter, E. D., D. L. Miller, A. C. Peterson, W. B. Sutton, J. P. W. Cusaac, J. A. Spatz, L. Rollins-Smith, L. Reinert, M. Bohanon, L. A. Williams, A. Upchurch, and M. J. Gray. 2019. Conservation risk of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans to endemic lungless salamanders. Conservation Letters 2019;e12675.


Ossiboff, R. J., A. E. Towe, M. A. Brown, A. V. Longo, K. R. Lips, D. L. Miller, E. D. Carter, M. J. Gray, and S. Frasca, Jr. 2019. Differentiating Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and B. salamandrivorans in amphibian chytridiomycosis using RNAScope® in situ hybridization. Frontiers in Veterinary Science 6:304.